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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Best Ways to Mitigate Fire Risks

8/15/2022 (Permalink)

Home fires are common—more common than you may realize. The modern home has many fire risks, with everything from cooking equipment to electrical malfunctions as a possible cause of residential fires.

How do you mitigate the risk of a fire? Even if a fire does start, there are precautions you can take today that will help keep it from blazing out of control. At SERVPRO of East York, we want to share our best tips, so you can stop a fire early and even avoid fire risks in the first place.  

1) Test your smoke alarms regularly

Your smoke alarms are your first line of defense against fires. A modern smoke detector doesn’t just ring loudly like the ones of yesteryear—it’s wired to send alerts to your smart devices, too.

That means a smoke detector can alert you to a house fire even if you’re not at home, so long as you have your smartphone on you. However, that can only happen if the smoke alarms are functioning. You should test them once every six months to ensure they’re working properly.

Here’s how you test a smoke detector: Simply press a button built into the alarm. If the beep is weak, you should change the batteries ASAP. (Modern smoke alarms can even send an alert to your smartphone when it’s time for a battery change, so you won’t have to guess.)

2) Clean your stove and oven and pay attention when cooking

Cooking is one of the most common sources of house fires. It only takes a few seconds for something in the kitchen to catch fire if something goes wrong. You should never leave your cooking unattended.

That’s not just the oven and stove—it’s any cooking device, from a slow cooker (be sure you’re at home when you’re using it) to an outdoor grill (be sure to keep it at a safe distance from your home).

While we’re at it, be sure to wipe down your stovetop after every use to remove food particles. You’ll want to regularly clean the buildup in your oven, too.

3) Invest in a fire extinguisher

Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher. (Bonus points if you have a fire extinguisher for each floor.) Make sure your extinguishers are placed in easily accessible areas with multiple exit routes.

Make sure everyone in the household understands how to use a fire extinguisher, too. There’s a simple mnemonic you can use to teach anyone how to operate it: PASS.

  • Pull the pin
  • Aim the fire extinguisher at the base of the fire
  • Squeeze the handle or level to spray
  • Swipe from side to side as you aim and spray

You’ll want to keep up on fire extinguisher maintenance, too. Make sure expired fire extinguishers are replaced and depressurized fire extinguishers are “recharged.”

Mitigate Fire Risks With These Tips

For as many fire risks as there are in your house, there are ways to mitigate them. Be cautious with candles, for instance, and keep your laptops off soft surfaces like blankets, sofas, and pillows.

Want more tips for avoiding house fires and dealing with them quickly? Reach out to our experts at SERVPRO of East York and be prepared to keep future fires from getting out of hand.  

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